After spending five years driving past the B. Wise Tasting Lounge in Kenwood on my way to Santa Rosa/Occidental, I finally made the decision to stop and sample the wines.
My first thought? Why in the heck did I wait so long!
The Tasting Lounge is located right off the Sonoma Highway (Highway 12) in Kenwood, B. Wise sits between Café Citti and VJB Cellars and much the same as those two, it’s a must visit.
I spent some time there on a Wednesday afternoon and was blessed to have Alicia and Kurt pouring the wine. Their business cards list them as “wine specialist” and that it is every bit the truth.
The key to the experience was not only were Alicia and Kurt knowledgeable, but they were personable as well. Wineries throughout California are losing their personality but that’s not the case at B. Wise.
When you visit you not only enjoy the wines, but the experience as well.
B. Wise is Brion and Ronda West Wise. They purchased their property in 2000 and produced their first vintage in 2002.
The Tasting Lounge is not the only tasting option when it comes to B Wise. The other venue is the caves at the B. Wise Estate located 15 or so miles south of the tasting lounge. The caves are for private tastings only.
Alicia raved about the property and we are looking forward to visiting it soon to add to this story. On a clear day Alicia proclaimed you can see the Golden Gate Bridge from the hilltop location.
Either tasting location will be great as the one constant – the B. Wise wines – ties it all together and guarantees a great time will be had by all.
Starting as a Cabernet Sauvignon producer Brion eventually sourced some Pinot Noir vineyards in the Russian River area to add to the B. Wise portfolio. The results have been great as the two wines, along with some red blends produce a great series of wines.
I highly enjoyed the Moon Mountain Estate Cab. At $95 a bottle I felt it was a bargain for the price as it was very comparable to some Cabernets’ I have had from the Napa Valley that carry a much steeper price tag.
I also had a chance to sample the 2014 Brion Reserve Cab, also from the Moon Mountain Estate and it was amazing as well.
When it came to the Pinot, I had a chance to try two, one from the Russian River area and one from the Willamette Valley region in Oregon.
A Pinot from the Lucky Well Vineyards that are located next to Occidental was the first I tasted, and it was a big fruit and jammy wine. Next up was the Willamette Pinot from the Omero Vineyard. This was a more intense wine and wonderful contrast to the Lucky Well.
The final wine I tried was the 2016 Wisdom, a blend of 38 percent Cab, 36 percent Zinfandel, 11 percent Syrah, 5 percent Merlot, 3 percent Petit Verdot and 3 percent Cab Franc. At $36 a bottle, this is a steal and makes a terrific table wine. I left with a couple bottles that I have since enjoyed.
The Wisdom is the biggest production of the B. Wise wines, accounting for 1,750 of the 6,000 cases produced annually.
It was a great tasting experience and I look forward to returning to the area and visiting the caves. Make sure to check back here regularly to see when the story on the caves will run!
B Wise is conveniently located and with surrounding wineries and dining establishments, you can make it a one-stop, park your car visit. For more information please visit www.bwisevineyards.com.
By Dennis Miller